Maserati has been making cars called "Quattroporte" almost continuously since 1963, with the nameplate going through six iterations so far.
Enthusiasts commonly refer to the fourth-gen Quattroporte, built between 1994 and 2001, as "The Gandini One."
The name, of course, refers to none other than designer Marcello Gandini, best known for his work under Nuccio Bertone from 1965 until 1980. Unfortunately, by the time the old Master started work on the Quattroporte project, he had become kind of an overblown parody of himself.
Over a quarter of a century on, his Quattroporte's boxy, chunky wedge design is an appreciated classic, but in 1994 it was almost laughably behind the times... Much like the car's underpinnings, which still derived from the Biturbo sports saloon.
The Quattroporte carried over the latest evolutions of the Biturbo's 2 liters and 2.8 liters twin-turbocharged V6 engines, with the 330 HP 3.2 liters V8 derived from the fearsome Shamal joining the range later in 1996.
Alejandro De Tomaso, the Argentinian entrepreneur who saved Maserati in '75, first sold 49% of Maserati to the Fiat group on May the 19th 1990, and then all his remaining stock in 1993. The development of the Quattroporte, which debuted at the Turin Motor Show in April 1994, mostly took place during this transitional period. Due to budgetary constraints, the Quattroporte's bodyshell was based on the four-door Biturbo platform with 50mm added to the wheelbase, resulting in a car considerably smaller than a contemporary BMW 5 Series. This in itself may not have been a problem, but, as the Quattroporte retailed for Mercedes S-Class money, all the leather and walnut in the world could not compensate for its cramped interior and lack of standard features. But if there's something the brave Quattroporte buyer got in abundance, it was firepower!
The Evoluzione largely failed to reignite market interest in the model, which was quietly dropped in March 2001 after just 731 cars were built.
The Quattroporte carried over the latest evolutions of the Biturbo's 2 liters and 2.8 liters twin-turbocharged V6 engines, with the 330 HP 3.2 liters V8 derived from the fearsome Shamal joining the range later in 1996. In July of '97, 50% of Maserati passed under Ferrari control, which marked a complete overhaul of Maserati's products and processes, resulting in the improved Quattroporte Evoluzione of 1998. Although the new car looked pretty much identical to the previous model, Maserati claimed over 800 components were either new or modified. The Evoluzione largely failed to reignite market interest in the model, which was quietly dropped in March 2001 after just 731 cars were built. Total production of the Quattroporte over its seven years lifespan amounts to less than 2400 cars, making it quite an exclusive modern classic today.